Author Topic: Brecker - 7 Month Old German Shepherd  (Read 547 times)

Offline pmifsud

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Brecker - 7 Month Old German Shepherd
« on: February 09, 2018, 05:52:38 PM »
I came across this site today.  I wanted to share Brecker's story of survival.   Brecker was a happy 7 month old German Shepherd when he was finally diagnosed with Blastomycosis. The story begins when we had been working with Brecker in obedience classes.  In September of 2016,  we had attended a  demonstration class on tracking.    Brecker did a couple of tracking exercises where he did so well.  On the last tracking exercise we noticed a slight limp in his gate and did not think much of it.   A day or so later the limp was much more noticeable.  Upon further inspection we saw that his pinky digit on his front left paw was very swollen.  There were no visible signs of any cuts or lesions.   The first time we took him to the vet we were advise to soak his paw in epsom salt and cold compress thinking it might by something stuck in his paw.   No improvement.  On the next visit to the vet we had him x-rayed at our request.   The x-ray showed that a bone in that digit had been disintegrating.    The vet thought he might have bone cancer. We contacted our breeder who suggested to ask the vet to prescribe an antibiotic and just give it a try before taking any other decisions.     We were prescribed a strong broad spectrum antibiotic.  His health continued to deteriorate quickly over the next several days. He was lethargic.  By now he had pain in both his front legs and could not put weight on his hind legs.   Our veterinarian had referred us to the local pet emergency hospital.  They advised that we order a full body CT scan, blood and urine work.   While we were waiting for the reports, he became even more lethargic.   By now he was unable to walk.  We had to carry him out each time he needed to go bathroom. He was not eating, but was drinking water at times through a syringe.  We were hand feeding him whatever he liked, eggs, sardines and kibble in small portions.   We thought we were going to lose him. He went down hill so fast.   The lab test and radiology report confirmed he had contracted systemic blastomycosis.  The vet immediately prescribed Sporanox (itraconazole).    Once the medication took affect, he developed open sores on his right leg forearm.   We were told that when the organisms die that he may have open wounds and sores.    He started to improve after about two weeks of medication.    Brecker was on  Sporanox for about 8 months.   We were were doing blood and urine work about every 8 weeks to track the progress and checking the condition of his organs due to drug side effects.   His liver after about 5 months was showing some signs of stress but never serious.  We have a PEMF bed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsed_electromagnetic_field_therapy that we had Brecker lie on twice a day full body.  With the help of our naturopathic vet we supported his immune system and organs with remedies including administering ozone water.  He was on high doses of vitamin C. 
This is a nasty disease that is not easy to diagnose and remedy.  Although you can never say cost is a factor, we spent $10K in vet bills and drugs.    In fact in this case Brecker was initially misdiagnosed as having bone cancer.    We don't know for sure  how he contracted it but in August that year we went on a camping trip on Manitoulin island where we understand it to be one of the known hotspots for the fungus. We think that is where the spores might have entered his body through his left pinky digit, not the lungs because he did not suffer any breathing or coughing issues.  We think now that one of the risk factors is that he was a 5 month old puppy in August with  not a fully developed immune system.  Not sure if that makes a difference.     The X-ray showed he had a few minor nodules in his lungs which we believe systemically travelled from his front paw.  His eyes were not affected.   We stopped the medication in May once the urine test showed inconclusive for the disease.  We started using oil of oregano as altenative anti-fungal for two months - two weeks off, two weeks on.   We continued the PEMF treatment and recommended supplements and remedies until the fall of 2017.  I am happy to report that Brecker is in full remission with no symptoms and happy and smart.    For this summer, we are thinking we will re-administer the oil of oregano as a preventative measure.

We feel for other pet owners who have pets that contracted this awful disease whether they survive or not.   Our experience tells us that Blasto should be one of the first diseases to rule out because it is so nasty and seems to be on the increase in these fungus hot zone regions and because it mimics other more serious diseases like bone cancer.